Support Teen Literature @ your library

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By Steve Zalusky

Libraries play a key role in fostering literacy. And with the booming market in young adult literature, their role in making these books available to young readers is especially significant.

On April 14, during National Library Week, libraries will be raising awareness of this growing, vital genre on Support Teen Literature Day.

The event is celebrated every Thursday of National Library Week, by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). National Library Week 2011 is April 10-16.

“Support Teen Literature Day provides a chance for libraries and librarians who serve teens to expand the awareness of teen literature and the endless reading possibilities that exist for teens, said YALSA President Kim Patton. “Celebrating this event allows library professionals to engage our communities in conversations about our teen collections and share the importance of teen reading as we connect with the parents, educators and teens in our communities.”

Librarians are supporting teen literature in a number of ways this year. One way is by spreading awareness of the multiple teen/YA book awards. Every year, YALSA committees select books and media for six awards: Alex, Edwards, Morris, Nonfiction, Odyssey, and Printz.

Libraries also make young readers aware of a book list chosen entirely by teens, the Teens' Top Ten.  Teens are encouraged to read the 25 nominees and vote for their favorites during August and September.  The winners are announced during Teen Read Week, the third week of October.


The Teens' Top Ten books for 2010 were: 

By Kristin Cashore
Lady Katsa is born with a Grace (super talent) of killing, and her uncle, the king, makes her his brute squad. When she meets Po, a rival kingdom’s Graceling, she becomes more powerful as a woman of justice, self knowledge and romance.

By Kristin Cast
At finishing school for young vampyres, Zoey makes a shocking discovery about the school’s leader, but no one will listen to her as her undead friends and three boyfriends turn against her. Loyalties are strained, truths are revealed, and an ancient evil is awakened in Cast’s fourth House of Night novel.

City of Ashes
By Cassandra Clare
The second in the Mortal Instruments trilogy, this volume continues the saga of Clary and her best friend Simon as they struggle to find their place in a magical world parallel to their NYC home. Demon-fighting shadowhunters, vampires, warlocks, werewolves, faeries, and a master villain named Valentine provide a heart-pounding backdrop as Clary uncovers secrets about her past.

The Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins
To save her young sister from competing, Katniss Everdeen takes her place in the annual Hunger Games, a televised competition in which only one person, the winner, survives. An adventure, a love story, and a futuristic thriller, this is the first in a planned trilogy.

By Isamu Fukui
In the totalitarian society that 18-year-old Tack lives in, a rebel group called the Truancy is fighting for freedom. But Tack vows revenge on the Truancy when someone he loves is killed accidentally during one of Truancy’s attacks on the government.

Truancy: Origins
By Isamu Fukui
Umasi and Zen, two brotheres adopted and raised in a life of privilege, are horrified to discover that their father is behind the restrictive policies of their city. One brother will be driven to rebellion.

The Graveyard Book
By Neil Gaiman
When a toddler wanders away from his home just before assassins slay his family, he ends up in a graveyard. Named Nobody Owens, the ghosts and other denizens of the cemetery adopt him and teach him important skills he will need to survive.

Paper Towns
By John Green
When they were little, Margo Roth Spiegelman and Quentin or “Q” were best friends. Now, a month before high school graduation, she disappears after taking Q on a night of pranks involving dead fish and a depilatory, sending him on a quest to find her.

By Joanne Harris
Maddie Smith is shunned by her town because of the mysterious rune mark that she has on her hand. This same rune mark will shatter her dull existence as it propels her into the center of a war between the new controlling religious government and the Norse gods of old.

By Ellen Hopkins
Identical teenage twins, Raeanne and Kaeleigh, respond in totally opposite ways to the abuse and abandonment from their parents. One twin finds bulimia and cutting eases the pain and helps her to maintain her passivity, while the other, more rebellious twin sinks into the world of drugs and sex.

By Cynthia Leitich-Smith
Zachary, a guardian angel has, against all rules, fallen in love with his charge. When he sees Miranda sleeping in the shadow of death, his attempt to save her hurls her into life as a vampire princess and exiles him from heaven.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
By E. Lockhart
When Frankie’s boyfriend joins a secret society that she isn’t supposed to know anything about, she surprises everyone— including herself— by trying to beat them and become the biggest prankster of them all.

Daughter of the Flames
By Zoё Marriott
Zira bears scars from the battle that left her orphaned and in the care of the Ruan people. When a tyrant king threatens her home, Zira seeks help from an unlikely romantic interest and uncovers the truth about her past.

By Lisa McMann
Going to sleep isn’t a big deal for most of us, but for Janie, falling asleep means getting sucked into other people’s dreams. The supernatural ability she’s always considered a nuisance quickly becomes a nightmare when she blunders into a dream and witnesses a murder.

Breaking Dawn
By Stephenie Meyer
In the fourth and final installment of the Twilight Saga, Bella’s new life as the wife of vampire Edward Cullen is wrought with unexpected obstacles, difficult decisions and potentially overwhelming outcomes.

By Katy Moran
In the brutal world of Dark Age Britain, a young man named Essa fights for his life, his identity, and the lives of those he loves. Paolini and Tolkien fans will be drawn in.

The Knife of Never Letting Go
By Patrick Ness
Dangerous secrets can even be hidden in a world where all men and animals hear each others’ thoughts. Because all women died shortly after he was born, Todd Hewitt is the last boy left in his town. When he learns a dangerous secret, he runs for his life with his dog and finds something even more surprising: a girl!

By Alyson Noёl
Her life ripped apart by a tragic accident that killed her family, Ever struggles with her newfound ability to hear people’s thoughts. Enter Damen, the new boy who seems the perfect distraction — except he doesn’t eat or drink, and soon Ever discovers a supernatural new world of which she is now part.

Geek Charming
By Robin Palmer
Dylan’s middle name is “crisis.” It seems to follow her wherever she goes. First she catches her boyfriend staring at another girl. Then her beautiful designer bag takes a swim in a fountain. However, along with crisis comes opportunity, and Dylan’s Beverly Hills world is about to be turned upside-down.

Melting Stones
By Tamora Pierce
All life, both plant and animal, on the Battle Islands is mysteriously dying. Stone mage Evvy responds to the islander’s call for help. They need her magic to solve the mystery. Accompanied by her friend and mentor, Luvo, she uncovers the deep secret revealed by the stones and the volcano. Will it be in time to rescue the children?

Living Dead Girl
By Elizabeth Scott
Alice was kidnapped when she was young and is forced to pretend to be a little girl to please Ray. She could never escape and wishes for death. Soon her wish will become true, as she had become too old and now she must find Ray a replacement for her.

By Sherri L. Smith
Because she wants to fly and to support her soldier brother, 18-year-old Ida May Jones passes for white amidst obstacles of race and gender and joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II.

Wherever Nina Lies
By Lynn Weingarten
Two years after 16-year-old Ellie’s older sister, Nina, disappeared, Ellie pieces together clues to her whereabouts and heads out on a road trip that leads to murder and mystery with her hot new boyfriend, Sean.

By Nancy Werlin
This gentle story details young teen Lucy’s rape and subsequent pregnancy, with an amazingly supportive cast of a faithful boyfriend and loving parents. A fairy tale set in the present, with flashes of realism and romance.

Absolutely Maybe
By Lisa Yee
Maybe (short for Maybelline, her mother’s favorite mascara) leaves home and heads to California on a mission to find her biological father, and avoid her mother’s planned wedding number seven.


Photo credit: murphyeppoon

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